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Superheroes assemble to honour ‘an amazing young man’

PUBLISHED: 15:29 12 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 12 November 2020

The special fundraising event � A Day for Dave � was held at the Asda store in Lowestoft where he used to work. Picture: Mick Howes

The special fundraising event � A Day for Dave � was held at the Asda store in Lowestoft where he used to work. Picture: Mick Howes

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Superheroes were out in force as they took over a popular supermarket as part of a special fundraising event.

Touching tributes have been paid to David Chapman. Picture: The Chapman familyTouching tributes have been paid to David Chapman. Picture: The Chapman family

Batman and Thor were among those making an appearance as staff at Britain’s most easterly Asda dressed up to honour the memory of “an amazing young man.”

Family and friends of David Chapman, who died in May after bravely battling a “one-in-a-million” type of cancer, held A Day for Dave as they organised the fundraising event at the store on Belvedere Road in Lowestoft where he used to work.

The special fundraising event � A Day for Dave � was held at the Asda store in Lowestoft where he used to work. Picture: Mick Howes
The special fundraising event � A Day for Dave � was held at the Asda store in Lowestoft where he used to work. Picture: Mick Howes

Mr Chapman, of Lowestoft, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in the bladder, called Angiosarcoma, just a few days after his 30th birthday in August last year.

After being given the all clear, he was told he was cancer free in May this year.

The special fundraising event – A Day for Dave – was held at the Asda store in Lowestoft where he used to work. Picture: Mick HowesThe special fundraising event – A Day for Dave – was held at the Asda store in Lowestoft where he used to work. Picture: Mick Howes

But just three weeks later it was discovered that the cancer had returned and had spread to his stomach, as the 30-year-old died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London on May 29.

With his family hailing the bravery and courage that the ardent West Ham United fan had shown throughout his battle, further awareness of this “extremely rare form of cancer” was highlighted – along with the legacy of Mr Chapman – as shoppers at the Lowestoft store and 14 other stores across the country helped to raise funds for The Royal Marsden Charity Sarcoma Team at the London hospital.

Praising the support and care that Mr Chapman had received during treatment at The Royal Marsden Hospital, the family set up a GoFundMe Memorial Fund page with the aim of raising £1,000 for the hospital to research a cure into this particular type of cancer.

With the hope that Mr Chapman’s legacy would live on as other families are helped in the future, the fund has now raised more than £12,500.

And last Friday, further funds were raised as A Day for Dave honoured “our hero.”

As staff dressed up as superheroes in his memory, donations were placed into collection buckets.

There was also two exercise bikes in store as former work colleagues, friends and family cycled the equivalent distance of a visit to the London Stadium – home of Mr Chapman’s favourite football team.

Dave’s mother Janette Chapman said: “It was an amazing day.

“We raised just over £1,000 in store and this will go with the monies already raised and the regional total from the day as about 14 other stores were also raising money.”

‘The world’s a sadder place without Dave’

Mrs Chapman said: “The Royal Marsden Charity Sarcoma Team at the London hospital don’t get a lot of funding support as it is such an extremely rare form of cancer.

“They class it as a one-in-a-million type of cancer.

“That’s why, after talks with the area manager, we decided to dress as superheroes for the day – to raise money and awareness of an absolutely amazing cause who give people hope.

“They helped Dave so much – he was our hero.

“Dave was such an amazing young man, who had so many friends, and he is missed so, so much.”

Mrs Chapman added: “One of his amazing sets of friends told me that everyone wanted to be Dave’s mate – he was the king of banter.

“Another said it just feels like the day Dave passed away, the light had been switched off as he would always illuminate a room and liven it up – the world’s a sadder place without Dave.

“Dave just loved football, he would bleed claret and blue, he was pure West Ham United through and through.

“He was a massive character and such a people person – The Day for Dave was testament to the man he was.

“I have always said that it is better to have had him for the 30-years we did.”


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